ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, seeking an end to the continued unprovoked firing along the Line of Control and Working Boundary.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry summoned the Indian envoy to protest the ‘complete violation’ of the 2003 ceasefire understanding and the international law, the foreign ministry said.

Aizaz Chaudhry said the indiscriminate firing and shelling from the Indian side deliberately targeting villages and civilian populated areas in the last two months had resulted in the killing of 26 civilians, including women and children, and injuries to 107,.

“The foreign secretary deplored the use of artillery by the Indian occupation forces in Shahkot and Jura sectors on the LoC and highlighted that such weaponry had been used after 13 years, reflecting their intention to further escalate tensions and undermine regional peace and security,” the ministry said.

“The United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has the UN-mandated responsibility for maintaining peace and tranquillity on the LoC and the Working Boundary, while Pakistan is fully cooperating and providing full access to the UNMOGIP. India also should permit the United Nations Military Observers Group to visit and observe the LoC and Working Boundary violations ,” the statement said.

The foreign secretary urged India to investigate the continued unprovoked ceasefire violations on the LoC and Working Boundary and ensure respect for the 2003 ceasefire understanding in letter and spirit.

Last day, Pakistan summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh to lodge a protest over India’s continued violations along the LoC. There has been a tit-for-tat summoning of envoys by Pakistan and India also in the current week.

Tensions have flared between the two nuclear-armed countries after the killing of a Kashmiri separatist, Burhani Wani, by Indian forces in July. The occupied valley has been under the grip of a curfew and protests have been dispersed by pellet firing which has blinded scores of people.

Tensions mounted further in September when 19 Indian soldiers were killed at an army base in Uri, in an attack. Delhi alleged Pakistan-based militants were behind this attack. Pakistan denied any involvement.

Pakistan has protested the continued violation of human rights by Indian troops at various international forums, including the United Nations. India has retaliated by continued unprovoked firing at the Working Boundary and the LoC.

This week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concerns over heightened Pakistan-India tensions on the LoC and urged the two neighbours to resolve all their outstanding issues through dialogue.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “The United Nations is keeping a vigilant eye on the escalation in the LoC tensions. Ban Ki-moon has appealed to Pakistan and India to resolve their all outstanding issues through dialogue.”

Last week, both countries expelled each other’s diplomats and named a number of others as being involved in espionage.

Five of the eight Indian High Commission staff members declared ‘persona non grata’ left Pakistan for India the other day.

The officials declared persona non-grata last week included Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operatives, Rajesh Kumar Agnihotri, Commercial Consular Anurag Singh, 1st Commercial Secretary Amerdeep Singh Bhatti, Visa Attache Dharmendra Sodhi, staff members, Vijay Kumar Verma and Madhavan Nanda Kumar.

Indian Intelligence Bureau’s operatives were named as Balbir Singh, 1st Press and Information Secretary, and Jayabalan Senthil, Assistant Personnel Welfare Officer. Surjeet Singh who was declared persona non-grata and expelled a few days back was also an IB operative working under Balbir Singh.